Monday, December 25, 2017

Ne Obliviscaris: Urn (2017)

Sometimes I like to take a chance on a band that I have no idea what to expect.  Sometimes that works out incredibly well.  Destroyer 666 is a very good example of this.  I picked up a CD in a used record store based entirely on once reading something vaguely positive about them.  And sometimes it backfires badly.  I can name a half dozen or so nu-metal bands, but the band that sticks out the most to me is Tribes of Neurot, a Neurosis side project that is a big reason why I still have not really checked out Neurosis.  And so here we have Ne Obliviscaris, a band whom I have never even heard of before deciding to check out this release.

Now, I am not the biggest progressive metal fan in the world.  It is a style that I enjoy a few bands (Opeth, Symphony X, Fates Warning, Queensryche), but typically do not go outside those parameters to check out other groups, unless I hear something extremely positive about a band.  I heard no such thing about Ne Obliviscaris.  But they may be able to join those other prog metal groups in terms of checking them out in the future because this album is amazing.

Ne Obliviscaris is an Australian band.  Now, Australia is not really well-known for melodic metal styles.  So this is another surprising aspect to the band.  The band features two singers, one a harsh vocalist, and the other a clean vocalist.  The clean vocalist also plays violin, which is featured prominently in the band's songs as well.  The songs are expertly crafted, with extremely beautiful sections countering harsher sections.  The vocalists play off each effectively as well, giving the band the ability to do pretty and ugly in alternating moments. 

This is absolutely a contender for the top albums list.  Every time I listen to it, I notice something I had not noticed before.  It is easily the most impressive melodic metal album of the year and is a lock to make it somewhere on my end of the year list.

1 comment:

  1. I've been on board the Ne Obliviscaris train since their debut, and honestly I'd call this album the weakest of the three. It's still good, but in my opinion "Citadel" is still their standout album.